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Pavlova

August 21, 2010

pavlova

I will be on the beach in less than a week  from now doing nothing but lounge and drink margaritas. Yes, it’s time for me to go on my long-awaited Puerto Vallarta vacation. I’ve been looking forward to this getaway all summer long.

So before I leave and become a beach-head for a week, let’s savor the awesome-ness of summer before it’s over with this Pavlova that’s delicately topped with strawberry slices and golden raspberries. I think I am going to start crying when I no longer see an abundance of berries at the market.

pavlova + berries

Pavlova (an Australian dessert named after a ballerina, Anna Pavlova) is a meringue disc topped with fresh Creme Chantilly (whipped cream flavored with vanilla) and usually decorated with fresh fruit. The one I made is unadorned with any thick, syrupy sauce. The fruits are its sole crowning glory. And that’s how I like to eat mine usually… just a crisp meringue with billowy whipped cream and fresh fruits. No sauce or anything. Simple. Delicious. Satisfying.

Pavlova

Meringue recipe from Ina Garten‘s Barefoot Contessa At Home. I decided to make individual pavlovas rather than one large meringue disc. The vinegar in the meringue helps keep it fluffy and more stable. Makes 10 – 12 4-inch discs.

Ingredients:

4 large egg whites

Pinch of kosher salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon distilled white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups of heavy cream

2 tablespoons of sifted powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Golden Raspberries

Strawberry Slices

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 200° F. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can draw 4-inch circles onto the parchment paper using a pencil to serve as a guide for mounding. Be sure to turn the paper over to prevent pencil marks on the meringue. I skip this step because a pavlova doesn’t need to be a perfect circle.

2. Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on high-speed for about a minute.

3. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating on high-speed until the egg whites turn shiny and form firm peaks, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes long.

4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift over the cornstarch. Add the vinegar and vanilla and fold to combine.

5. Using a spoon, mound the meringue into 4-inch circles on the parchment paper. Make the middle just a bit semi-hollow (but not completely hollow) so it can hold the whipped cream and berries.

6. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven and keep the door closed, allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven for another hour. This will turn the meringue crisp on the outside but still soft inside.

7. Meanwhile, whip the heavy cream using an electric or hand mixer. Whip until it starts to get thick, then add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Continue whipping until it starts to get slightly firm. Don’t overbeat. You want the whipped cream a bit firm but still billowy.

8. Once the meringue discs have cooled, transfer to a platter and start topping the discs with the sweetened whipped cream. Embellish the top with the golden raspberries and strawberry slices.

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. August 21, 2010 2:11 pm

    your pavlovas are simply beautiful! And they’re so simple to bake & doesn’t get the kitchen too hot – perfect for summer. Have fun lounging next week.

    • August 21, 2010 6:20 pm

      Gracias! Totally… kitchen at 200 degrees F is so much bearable than normal. I will have a drink for you once I am down in Mexico.

  2. August 21, 2010 2:19 pm

    I love that you made these into individual servings. Tiny desserts always make for such a nice presentation, especially with your golden raspberries.

    Have a great time lounging at the beach! Can’t wait to read all about when you return. Safe travels!

    • August 21, 2010 6:24 pm

      Something about individual desserts, right? They are way cuter and delicate. Thanks so much… I am really looking forward to this vacation. It’s a bit late but it will be so worth it.

  3. August 21, 2010 8:43 pm

    You are going to have a lovely vacation, I’m sure! I’m a bit jealous…but mostly happy for you! I am going to be so sad to see the berries go this summer…I don’t know if there is anything better than seasonal berries. This recipe looks like a great way to showcase them!

    • August 22, 2010 11:22 am

      Thanks Monet! I deserve this vacation so bad… hehehe. I know, right? There is nothing better than seasonal berries. I 100% agree with you.

  4. August 29, 2010 2:52 am

    your pavlova is beautiful (much like the ballerina, i’d think… imagine having a dessert named for you!). hope the vacation has been good r&r.

    • September 6, 2010 9:14 pm

      Thanks much! I’m back after the very relaxing break. Gotta get back in blogging mode now that vacay is over.

  5. September 1, 2010 10:26 am

    Hope you are enjoying your vacation! The pavlovas are stunning. 🙂

  6. September 3, 2010 12:47 pm

    These are so pretty! The one time I attempted pavlovas, they resulted in sugary hockey pucks. Yours look way better! 🙂

    • September 6, 2010 9:16 pm

      So far I have been very successful with pavlovas. Amen to kitchen miracles. Hahaha! Scones are the ones that turn out like hockey pucks for me. Thanks so much!

  7. Kim permalink
    December 22, 2010 9:11 pm

    Hi, your pavs are so cute… Just wanted to point out, the
    pavlova comes from New Zealand! But don’t worry, Australians get
    that wrong too (can you tell where I’m from?)

    • December 22, 2010 11:32 pm

      Hi Kim!!! Thanks so much and thanks for pointing that out. I’ve always thought it came from Australia – read about it and saw on TV. But guess even books and shows on TV can get it wrong. Now I know! Thanks again!

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